A comparison of radiation use efficiency between two southern Appalachian watersheds
Pangle, Luke A.
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We compared aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP), intercepted photosynthetically active solar radiation (IPAR), and radiation use efficiency (µ =‘ between a mixed deciduous forest and a white pine (Pinus strobus L.) plantation in the southern Appalachian Mountains. We also examined patterns of foliage acclimation to intra-canopy light gradients, which may influence the photosynthetic radiation use efficiency (PhRUE) of forest canopies. The mixed deciduous forest had significantly greater ANPP and µ than the pine plantation. There was no significant variation in µ across the elevation gradient in either forest. Specific leaf area of foliage was acclimated to intra-canopy light gradients. Nitrogen content and Amax was higher in overstory trees and new pine foliage than in understory trees and one-year-old pine foliage, respectively. We found no such difference in the plasticity of SLA. Radiation use efficiency may be conservative for specific forest types across a range of environmental conditions in the southern Appalachian Mountains.